First practices might be a clue that Jonas Jerebko could start for the Pistons

Commenter brgulker raised a good point about Jonas Jerebko in the comments earlier today. Here was his take:

I think we’d all do well to remember that Jonas is on the 2nd year of his rookie deal — and that deal doesn’t pay much, relative to other NBA salaries. In addition to fighting for a starting spot, he’s fighting for a contract, for his career.

My opinion is that Jonas’ future is at SF, whether that be with the Pistons or somewhere else, and apparently, he does too. Obviously and appropriately, he worked on the pieces of his game that would make him a more viable SF in the NBA.

DetroitPCB also had similar sentiments:

Long term, JJ is probably a three in this league, though he will play the four this year. And a three has to be able to put the ball on the floor. Even at the four, his quickness and mobility gives him an advantage over the bigger players he will be matched with if he can put the ball on the floor.

I don’t really disagree with anything either said. Who might disagree though? The Detroit Pistons. Here were how the teams were divided in scrimmages the first day of camp, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

Based on what color practice jersey players were wearing when reporters were allowed in to see what was left of practice – a few shooting drills – it appears the Pistons lined up in these five-man units: Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Jonas Jerebko and Tayshaun Prince on the white team; Tracy McGrady, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum and presumably Ben Gordon on the blue team – Gordon had peeled off his practice jersey and was wearing only a gray T-shirt; and Terrico White, Austin Daye, Greg Monroe, Chris Wilcox and DaJuan Summers on the red team. Ike Diogu had on a white jersey, perhaps indicating he’ll be splitting time with Ben Wallace to allow Kuester to give Wallace, 36, a reduced workload in camp while also getting a good look at Diogu.

I get that it’s the first practice session and things could change. But over the past couple seasons, very early practices have been a good indicator of who would win starting jobs that were up for grabs. Two years ago, under Michael Curry, Amir Johnson was playing with the first teamers from the get-go, long before it began being reported that he’d open the season as a starter. Last year, it was Ben Wallace (and remember, most fans viewed Ben as only a symbolic signing and someone who wouldn’t contribute much before the preseason started and he showed he was healthy) playing with the first unit early on and keeping that job over other vying for it — remember, it seems like eons ago, but when John Kuester took the Pistons job, he came in as the world’s biggest Kwame Brown fan, and it appeared as if Brown might get that starting spot.

I’ve already stated my belief that the Pistons would be better off if Charlie Villanueva earned and kept the starting power forward spot. Dan Feldman firmly believes it will be Jerebko.

I bring up brgulker’s comment in this discussion simply because whether Jerebko is better suited to be a three or a four, it’s clear that if he’s going to play big minutes again, it’s going to have to be at the four.

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Tags: Charlie Villanueva Jonas Jerebko Kwame Brown

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